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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Roosky hotel fire may have been premeditated and prepared for days beforehand gardaí believe

This is the second fire in five weeks at the Co Leitrim premises.

Roosky. Shannon Key West Hotel, Roosky, Co Leitrim Source: Google Maps

THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR the fire at the Shannon Key West Hotel in Roosky, Co Leitrim may have been in the area and prepared the attack days beforehand, local gardaí believe. 

Last night’s fire at the hotel, which was due to accommodate asylum seekers, was discovered shortly after 9.15pm by on-site security personnel. It was quickly brought under control causing a small amount of damage, Gardaí have said, and no one was injured. 

This is the second fire in five weeks at the premises. On 9 January, a fire broke out at the hotel in what gardaí are investigating as a possible arson attack.

Gardaí investigating last night’s incident have said that those responsible “were not deterred” by the presence of people inside the building. 

Speaking to Shannonside, Superintendent Kevin English said three members of staff were in the building at the time. 

“Their cars would have been visible from the side of the hotel,” he said.

In that context, the individuals who attempted to burn the hotel were not deterred by their presence.

It is understood that those responsible for the fire may also have monitored the movements of people leaving and entering the hotel in the days leading up to last night’s fire. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, local Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry said that he “utterly condemned the actions of a small number of individuals” who were involved in the incidents last night and in January.

“There’s no excuse for the criminality,” he said. “I think it’s wrong. Certainly what’s occurred here is wrong and it has put people’s lives in danger.”

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan expressed “grave concern” and condemned the attack. 

“The person or people responsible for this attack have shown a reckless disregard for the safety of human life and no respect for private property,” Flanagan said.

“The owners of the hotel had just completed the necessary repairs to the property from the last fire and the damage will now have to be assessed again for the second time this year.”

Flanagan added that the latest fire in Roosky will further delay Direct Provision services leaving asylum seekers living in emergency accommodation. 

Last night, three units of the fire brigade attended the hotel. A full garda technical examination has been carried out.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses in relation to the incident who may have been in the area between 8pm and 9.30pm last night to contact Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station on 071 9650510. 

With reporting from Sean Murray.

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